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Desire to do His will

    “May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us or abandon us. May he give us the desire to do his will in everything and to obey all the commands, decrees, and regulations that he gave our ancestors…Then people all over the earth will know that the Lord alone is God and there is no other. And may you be completely faithful to the Lord our God. May you always obey his decrees and commands, just as you are doing today.”  (emphasis added by writer) (1 Kings 8:57-58, 60-61 NLT)

 

These are the words that Solomon used to bless the Israelites after completing the building of the Lord’s temple.

 

Solomon was the son of Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, and took the throne of his father David. We remember him as the one who asked for wisdom from God and not riches or honor; yet, the end of his life was not so picturesque. 1 Kings tells us that in the later years of his life, Solomon “loved many foreign women” (1 Kings 11:1) and “insisted on loving them anyway” (1 Kings 11:2) despite God’s instructions to not marry them. Not much else is said about the ending years of Solomon’s reign or life.

 

Despite how things eventually ended, Solomon’s blessing stands out to me. He prays that the Israelites would have the desire to do and obey God’s commands and for them to be faithful to the Lord their God. 

 

What do you long for in this season of Advent?

 

We know the world is broken. We also know that sin abounds…even in families and spaces which seem “safe”. We know that there is one who is our adversary (Satan), who prowls around like a lion waiting for a chance to devour us. And yet, we also know that through Christ’s death and resurrection, God has won the final victory over sin and death. We need not be ruled or enslaved by sin.

 

So, as Solomon blessed the people of Israel, may God give us that same desire and longing to do His will and obey His law. Even on this side of eternity, in our brokenness, we can be vessels of His peace, joy, hope, and love.

 

Jen Wilkin says, “When we think about heaven, a lot of people are like, yeah, heaven, I can’t wait to get there because there will be no more tears. There will be no more sadness. There will be no more suffering. The reason those things won’t be there is because there will be no more sin. And the reason there will be no more sin is because we will all finally obey God’s law perfectly.”

 

We hold to the hope that once Christ returns, all will be made right. Justice will be served for those who have not received it, judgement will be given, comfort will be received, and the image of a God who is so near as to “wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4) will finally be reality. (Amen!) We will finally have perfected bodies and minds, and be able to perfectly obey His law and desire to do His will. But in the meantime, what can we do now? God has given us His Spirit to guide and correct, and has also given us power through His Spirit to resist the devil. There is hope even on this side of eternity that we need not be enslaved to sin.

 

So, I ask again: What do you long for in this season of Advent?

 

Long for His return but, in the interim, also long for the desire to do and obey God’s commands, and to be faithful to the Lord your God. In having this desire, and in living it out, perhaps we will usher in more of His Kingdom.

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